Hoffman sends scare through Broncos
Brisbane could be without five-eighth Josh Hoffman for the Anzac Day blockbuster against South Sydney on Friday night after the New Zealand international failed to complete training on Thursday morning due to an injury to his heel.
Hoffman and fullback Ben Barba were both restricted to pool duties on Tuesday while their teammates completed their field session and Hoffman will have precautionary scans on his heel this afternoon that could rule him out from facing the Rabbitohs and place him in doubt for selection in the Kiwis team on Sunday evening.
He will be given every chance to prove his fitness over the next 24 hours with Zach Strasser or even Lachlan Maranta his likely replacement after some strong recent performances for Redcliffe and Norths respectively in the Intrust Super Cup.
With Sam Thaiday already ruled out with a calf injury it's an unwanted distraction for Broncos coach Anthony Griffin who has the Broncos on red and green alert after identifying Origin stars Ben Te'o and Greg Inglis as just two of the several threats the Rabbitohs pose.
Griffin was quick to pay particular attention to Te'o, who will return from a one-match suspension to take on his former club. The 27-year-old makes his second appearance against the Broncos after first lining up against them in Souths' 26-12 win in Round 8 last season.
"He's a great player Benny. He's got a great carry of the football in him, he runs a great line, he's a strong defender and he fits the mix of their team very well," Griffin said.
"He's progressed really well and playing Origin now. He's doing a very good job for them and he's a quality player and someone we'll need to keep an eye on."
The Broncos' boss also highlighted the obvious danger of star fullback Greg Inglis, with the deafening shouts of 'Inglis, Inglis' bellowed out around Red Hill by his players in defensive drills at their final training run this morning.
"He's one of the best players in the game and you've just got to try and contain him," he said.
"Everyone that plays Souths knows they need to contain Inglis."
The stakes are high for both sides in the Anzac blockbuster, which shapes as a classic 'four-pointer' encounter in terms of competition points. The Broncos, who are currently in fifth position on eight points (+37 points differential), can consolidate a top-four position with a win; however, if the 10th-placed Bunnies (+32 differential) win by six or more points, they will hop past the Broncos on the ladder and firmly burrow themselves inside the top eight.
Despite the Rabbitohs only registering three wins so far this season, Griffin believes that they have begun to hit their straps, with the Redfern club winning two of their past three matches.
"Like a lot of teams, it's hard to string a few [wins] together in this competition at the moment," he said.
"The Bulldogs have been able to get three in a row but they've all been by [one] point – it's just such a tight competition. Even though Souths have had a couple of losses, they haven't been that far away.
"I thought in the last couple of weeks they've been very impressive, particularly last week even though they went down (15-14 against the Bulldogs), they had a lot of players out injured. They showed a ton of courage to nearly pull that game off against Canterbury.
"Their past form – even though they don't have the wins to show it – has been very good."